The Most Comprehensive Transcriptome Atlas of the Superfood Plant Chia (Salvia Hispanica) Published

The study was published recently (Gutpa et al. 2021) in the special issue on Orphan Crops: Breeding and Biotechnology for Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science. Authors of this research paper include Dr. Parul Gupta (Research Associate), Dr. Matthew Geniza (a former Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate student in the Jaiswal Lab), and two undergraduate students Jeremy Phillips and Ebaad Haq, and the project PIs Dr. Sushma Naithani and Prof. Pankaj Jaiswal. The comprehensive RNAseq study of Chia gene expression is an important step in building essential genomic resources for this underrepresented orphan crop from South America. 

Chia, a well-known superfood and a pseudocereal, is a rich source of dietary nutrients, protein, fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and secondary metabolic products. The plant is a native of Central America's highlands, and its seeds are popularly used in food and beverages. In this study, RNA-seq based gene expression data were generated from 13 different tissues representing various growth stages. A de-novo transcriptome assembly was constructed, and differentially expressed genes across various tissues were identified. Furthermore, the authors identified genes involved in the biosynthesis of omega-3 (α-Linolenic acid) and omega-6 (Linoleic acid) unsaturated fatty acids and terpenoids. In addition, ~2400 simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs) were identified. Together, the data and genomics resources generated in this study are essential for supporting Chia genome annotation and plant breeding efforts in the near future. 

Data Access

Terpenoid biosynthesis pathway with expressed genes



Gupta P, Geniza M, Naithani S, Phillips J, Haq E and Jaiswal P. (2021) Chia (Salvia hispanica) Gene Expression Atlas Elucidates Dynamic Spatio-Temporal Changes Associated With Plant Growth and Development. Front. Plant Sci. 12:667678. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.667678 (